Feedback
News

Brazilian Protesters Keep Pressure on President Dilma Rousseff

Thousands of Brazilians Fill Streets, Beaches of Rio 0:42

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators returned to the streets in dozens of Brazilian cities Sunday to call for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, blaming her for a vast corruption scandal and the economy's worst slump in a quarter-century.

Less than a year into her tumultuous second term, the left-wing president's approval rating has dwindled to single digits, and polls show that 2 in 3 Brazilians support calls for her impeachment.

In the third wave of demonstrations against Rousseff this year, protesters who were convened by social media across Latin America's largest country created a festive family atmosphere and chanted "Out With Dilma!"

About 135,000 people swarmed Sao Paulo's financial district, according to pollster Datafolha, and 25,000 assembled in front of Congress in Brasilia, according to police. Both numbers were roughly in line with similar protests in April but more modest than turnout in March.

A government spokesman said in a statement that the demonstrations were a "normal part of democracy."

There is widespread support for the protest movement as rising unemployment and inflation presage the worst economic downturn since at least 1990. Government austerity efforts meant to keep Brazil's investment-grade credit rating have turned off even Rousseff's supporters and met resistance from lawmakers.

With the political opposition divided and Congress in disarray, protesters had few proposals to rally around except for the removal of Rousseff. If she were impeached, as many demanded, the next in line would be Vice President Michel Temer, who is from another party but coordinates her legislative agenda.

A 17-month-old bribery and money-laundering investigation is rattling the government and state-run companies at the heart of the Brazilian economy but has revealed no evidence against the president.